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Hood's Texas Brigade
19 July 1861
The following information was sent to Mrs. Ruby Vance in a letter dated 29 May 1996 from Herbert Cook, a great-grandson of Joseph. He wrote . . .
Dear Cousin: Recently, quite by chance, I came upon a little book, long out of print, in the stack of the Texas Archives. Written by a man named Simpson, it sheds a little light on the army experiences of our Pvt. Jos. H. Nettles. I am enclosing a copy of the notes gleaned from this book....
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Notes from Hood's Texas Brigade (A Compendium by Col. Harold B. Simpson) -- Chapter on 4th TX Volunteer Infantry Regiment including: Company "G" -- Grimes County Greys (Company was organized in Grimes Co., TX) -- enrolled at Harrisburg, TX, July 19, 1861, and mustered into the Confederate Services 'for the war' near Richmond, VA, Sept. 30, 1861.
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This volume lists each volunteer from each county in TX and gives a short resume of service for each man, Privates and Officers. From Grimes County appearing in alphabetical order appears under Privates :: Nettles, Jos. H., sick, sent to rear Sept. 17, 1862 (Antietam), duty with CSA Engineer Corps, June 1863, wounded Gettysburg (July 2, 1863) wounded (leg) (Wilderness) (May 6, 1864). Nothing further is given.
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Notes on narrative -- Hoods TX Brigade by Simpson ... The author states that 97 volunteers enlisted from Grimes County, TX when the war began in 1861. Nettles is indicated to have been one of the original 97. He further found that only 34 of the original 97 remained in the Confederate Army at the end of the first winter (1861-62). Disease resulting from the cold-wet northern Virginia weather claimed the majority.
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In the next six months following that first winter the war became one bitter battle following another. It appears that Pvt. Nettles, following the battle of Antietam, when Lee had pushed his army into Maryland, had pushed past the limits of human will. Recovered sufficiently to be re-assigned to a unit of CSA Corps of Engineers he is wounded at Gettysburg after only one month. We can deduct from this that he remained with Lee's army in Virginia and did not participate in the rush south to Atlanta with Hood's unit following Gettysburg because of these wounds. The final notation notes that he was shot through the leg at the wilderness battle in May of 1864. This occurred in Virginia. . . .
2 July 1871 | Lexington, Texas
Quoting Joseph's granddaughter, Ruby Lee Vance nee Nettles (1910-2003) . . . Young Mollie met a war veteran twenty years her senior, Joseph Helidorah NETTLES, and married him the next year [2nd July 1871]. They lived for a time in the Rockdale area with her relatives, Mr. and Mrs. Billy PERRY, and later with Mrs. Courtney VALENTINE NALLEY. Soon they moved to Lexington where her husband had a woodworking shop in connection with the HESTER blacksmith shop. Here her first child, Nona M., was born on May 14, 1872. . . . A deed for 100 acres of land in the Daniel Walker League, bought from J. C. Coker, was filed by J. H. NETTLES in Giddings on Oct. 12, 1882. Later adjoining land was bought and here the family grew up. This was in the Cole Springs community west of Tanglewood. J. H. NETTLES was not a well man due to hardships and exposure during the Civil War, and May 1, 1890 he succumbed to his illness. He was 58 years of age. . . .